It had been a long night.
The rez kids had scattered like roaches when I had shown up. I recognized enough of them to know who was there and wound up spending most of my night calling up each individual parent to let them know what their child was up to.
I refused to be an asshole cop. This was a small town full of good people and they trusted me. Kids were going to be rowdy. They were going to stay out past curfew and drink beer on the beach. It was part of being a kid. So, I had decided to leave the punishing up to the parents. If anything it saved me from filling out piles of paperwork.
I fell asleep at my desk around three in the morning and was woken up by one of the dispatchers changing shifts. I got myself some coffee finished my paperwork, and finally headed for home at ten am. I yawned and tried to shake the sleep away. I was looking forward to a warm meal and watching the game I had recorded from last night.
As I pulled up into my drive, I saw it was being blocked by a worn out silver Volvo. I immediately recognized the car and the sight of it made me clench the steering wheel tightly in an unsettling rage.
The house looked quiet. Too quiet. I killed the engine of my own car and quickly made my way inside. The TV was off, the kitchen empty, I knew right away that this was going to be bad.
I had spent the last 4 years worrying. I couldn't help it. The day your ex wife calls to tell you that your 15 year old daughter is being taken to a rehabilitation clinic in Phoenix because she has an out of control, sexual… thing for geeks, is the day you stop seeing your kid as the innocent little girl at her first ballet recital. Now all I could see when I looked at her was a strung out crack whore version of her former self lurking the streets of Seattle hunting for her next fix.
Sure, I was the chief of police in this small, relatively quiet town and we didn’t typically see crack whores or really any of that kind of crime around here, but I had seen enough TV shows to recognize that the path Bella was on wasn't one to admire.
I saw my daughter more in those months at rehab than I had in the last few years. Her mother, Renee was always being called away by work and the staff at the clinic had recommended a lot of family time.
In the beginning she had looked terrible, the memory forever forged in my mind. Her pale skin even paler than usual, her hair unkempt and disheveled and her eyes…the sight of her dead, cold eyes still to this day send shivers up my spine.
I couldn't go back there. I wouldn't.
I found the courage finally and started up the stairs slowly. I had an idea of what I was going to find once I stepped into her room and I prepared myself for what I was about to see. Images flashed through my head, most of them too disturbing for any dad to ever have to think about. I shook my head trying to clear it as I reached the upstairs landing.
I paused as I stood in front of Bella's bedroom door, debating whether or not to knock. Deciding against it, I pushed on the door which was already slightly ajar, and peered inside. I could feel dread pulling my stomach into a tight knot.
Lying on the bed was Bella, enveloped in the arms of the Cullen boy.
They're backs were turned from me so I didn't know if they were sleeping or not, but I was pretty certain as to what had gone on in this room prior to my arrival. I felt sick and I was to blame. I had allowed this to happen under my own roof.
“Get out.” I said in a low voice.
The pair of them flinched and then froze on the bed. I would have laughed at their reaction if I wasn't completely blinded by my own rage.
“I said, out.” I repeated louder. “Get out of my house Cullen. Now!”
As soon as I spoke his name Edward leapt out of the bed and quickly began searching the room for something. Probably his keys.
I could do nothing but stare at him with disgust as I watched him, his eyes avoiding mine, his face as white as a ghosts.
“I'm not a patient man... move quicker boy.” I spat each word impatiently taking some kind of pleasure in the fear in the boy’s expression.
“Dad.” I looked down to see Bella, watching me with a guilty look on her face.
“I will deal with you when he has left.” I flicked my eyes back to Cullen, who had located his keys and was standing around nervously clearly hesitating.
“Don't be stupid boy,” I sneered.
He took one last look at Bella in the bed and then fled from the room. I waited until I heard his shit heap of a car start up before turning to Bella.
“Well...?” I asked, not really wanting an answer. I knew all I needed too.
“Dad, it’s not like that. I promise you.”
“It’s exactly like that, don't lie to my face Bella, I know what you and Katie were up to this week, I saw you with my own eyes last night.”
She was going to interrupt me; I could see it in her face.
“Do not speak until I am finished.” I spoke firmly, and waited for her to nod obediently.
“Enough is enough.” I was trying to stay calm, but as each word came, like fuel to a fire so did more anger. “I thought bringing you here would help you. I thought trusting you would teach you to make good decisions. But clearly I've let you out on too loose a leash, I gave you an inch and you took a mile.”
I saw she was about to interrupt me again so I raised my hand to stop her.
“I don't want to hear any pathetic excuses. I have made my decision and it is final. No more. No more games, no more boys, no more Katie…she's nothing but a bad influence on you. Do you hear me Isabella?”
With one deep breath I calmed myself as I watched my daughter nod obediently again. Her expression was devastated and broken and I wanted to comfort her but I knew that this was for the best.
Renee couldn't cure her because she never saw her, but I was always around, I would cure her and she would thank me for it later.
“This Cullen boy.” I spoke again in a firm, parental tone. “You will end it with him today. You will not see him, speak to him or be anywhere near him. I will be speaking with your teachers at school. You know I didn’t want to do this but you have left me no choice. I will make sure you are not seen with him.”
As I spoke Bella’s posture slowly started to change. Her shoulders slumped and her back hunched over and I suddenly had flashbacks of her early days in rehab. She looked like someone close to her had just died. My heart broke as I saw a tear roll down her cheek. She swiped at it angrily. This made me even more frustrated, the guilt. I shouldn't have to feel guilty for trying to protect my daughter.
I turned my back to leave the room when I heard her whisper behind me.
Immediately my heart swelled and I fought the urge to turn around and hug her. Bella hadn't called me Dad since she was five years old. Instead I looked around at her and was surprised to see her sitting with a look of determination on her face.
“I love him.” She said proudly as tears fell freely down her cheeks.
Rage flared up inside of me. This man…this boy, had come into her life and messed her up to the point that she thought she loved him. I would kill him for the hurt he was causing her.
“Don't.” I said coldly, looking away.
I knew this would destroy her but she would understand soon enough that the alternative would have been far worse. Now, having nothing left to say, I quickly exited the room, slamming the door, leaving Bella staring at the now empty spot where I had been standing. As I walked down the stairs I heard something in her room crash loudly against the wall and her mournful sobbing followed close after.
The sound of her pain ripped me to shreds.
This was for the best. I told myself. This was the only way I knew how to make her better.